Football is one of the most popular sports in our country where “SPORTS” hold a special place in the hearts of the people. But did you know that the game of football was introduced in India by the Britishers in the mid-nineteenth century. Nagendra Prasad Sarbadhikary played crucial role in making it popular among his peers and started plain football as a teenager in the year 1877 for the Hare School, Calcutta. He is popularly as the father of Indian football. Nagendra Prasad also took the first step by founding The Boys’ Club which became first Indian initiative at football organization.
Soon India started having the Durand Cup ever since 1888. This lead to the introduction of the IFA Shield and Calcutta (Now Kolkata) turned out to be the hub for football in India. Mohun Bagan AC i one of the one of the oldest football clubs in Asia, came into existence on 15 August 1889. One of the great achievement which is immortalized in the heart of the fan is there win against East Yorkshire Regiment in the 1911 IFA Shield final match, which made them the first Indian club to win the IFA Shield.
The club has also won several other trophies such as league 4 times, the National Football League 3 times and the I-League once. Also hold the rare feet of winning the Federation Cup a record 14 times. Also as per stats they have won the Durand Cup (16 times), IFA Shield (22 times), and the Calcutta Football League (30 times). The club’s football team has won 252 trophies which is the highest by any Indian club and one of the most decorated football clubs in the world.
Kolkata’s oldest and youngest football clubs joined forces to form a new entity that will compete in the ISL next season. Yes you read it right, one of the oldest and most successful teams in Indian football, I-League club Mohun Bagan has merged with Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK. Mohun Bagan is both the oldest and the most successful club in India having one of the largest fan bases and joined forces with a six-year-old franchise.
As per latest development, as the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group (RPSG) has acquired a majority stake in Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited with 80 per cent stake and on the other hand while Mohun Bagan Football Club (India) Private Limited will own the remaining 20 per cent. The new football club will have brand names of ATK and Mohun Bagan.
First time the merged club will be coming together on June 1, 2020 and will participate in the Indian Super League season 2020-21. Also Mohun Bagan Athletic Club will continue to get discounted tickets for all home matches. Mohun Bagan and ATK are not the first major football clubs to merge. previously we have noticed that the club like mergers AS Roma, Celta Vigo, Benfica, Paris Saint-Germain, Sampdoria, Watford had merged.
A sources close to Mohun Bagan was quoted saying that “The name will be either Mohun Bagan ATK or ATK Mohun Bagan. Just Like Quess East Bengal or McDowell Mohun Bagan. Mohun Bagan name will be there. The green and maroon colours will be there and neither will there be any change in the logo. Everything will be the same and we will continue to be the Mariners,” an official said on condition of anonymity.”
Former India captain Bhaichung Bhutia showered praises to Indian Super League (ISL) team ATK for buying a majority stake in I-League giant Mohun Bagan but also shared his opinion that they should keep the 130-year-old club’s jersey and logo to giving homage of their heritage.
The Sikkimese Sniper was quoted saying It’s good that Mohun Bagan is getting a good buyer but I think the colour and name have to be kept and the logo. Their history is very rich. It’s good that RPSG Group is buying it, they are a very professional company. But I hope that they can completely use the Mohun Bagan colour, logo and jersey. It should be maroon and green.”
Bhutia further added,”In fact, I had advised Sanjiv Goenka to buy Mohun Bagan and run the club together. That was the first time I told it to them. There was some issue with pricing and ATK felt it was a bit too much,” said Bhutia who has played for Mohun Bagan.